by Alan Collins
One of the biggest mistakes I see HR job seekers make on LinkedIn is…
…with their headline!
To clarify, your headline is located on the line immediately below your name on your LinkedIn profile.
And it’s the first thing a headhunter, recruiter or hiring manager sees – after your name and picture.
If you’re on the prowl for a new opportunity and your headline doesn’t scream and make you stand out from the 2 million other HR people around the globe, you’re toast.
With busy, overworked recruiters who are under the gun to find candidates for great jobs, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention.
If you don’t, they’ll just click past your profile and you’re SOL.
However, a good headline will stop them dead in their tracks.
But most headlines for HR folks suck and here’s why…
1. They’re BORING AS HELL.
Phrases like “Results-oriented Generalist” or “Strategic Business Partner” or “Dynamic Problem-Solver” are used so much in HR, they don’t excite anyone.
If your headline is full of these kinds of buzzwords, you’ll just be seen as a typical schmuck in HR, no different than anyone else.
2. They don’t SHOWCASE WHAT YOU CAN DO.
Most HR folks just use a job title and name of their last employer as their headline.
You are much more than just your last job.
Whether you are an HR generalist, specialist, executive, consultant, if your headline doesn’t clearly explain your “value-add”…or what you do makes other people and organizations better, most time-strapped recruiters will just click past your profile.
3. They make you sound DESPERATE.
If you’re in transition, don’t say in your headline that you are “unemployed” or that you are “seeking new opportunities.” You don’t have to hide or lie about this, but stating this upfront in your headline merely discounts your worth.
In today’s HR competitive job market, you shouldn’t be passively sitting back hoping that recruiters and hiring managers will find you, anyway. You should be aggressively seeking out opportunities on your own.
In addition, no one gives a rip about what you are looking for. They ONLY care about how you can make their job easier and how you can solve their specific organizational problems.
So far, I’ve described what you SHOULDN’T DO.
Now, here’s how to create a more compelling LinkedIn headline:
- Say WHAT you are.
- Say WHO you help.
- Say HOW you make their organization better.
- Give PROOF that you are credible.
Here are some examples:
- Talent Acquisition Executive who helps Fortune 500 companies quickly source hard-to-find IT & engineering talent. Clients include Apple & Pepsi.
- Human Resources Leader who helps manufacturing and sales executives optimize & retain their high potential talent. P&G President’s Award Winner.
- Organization Development Consultant who helps start-up companies grow their in-house leadership talent faster. Former OD executive at Netflix.
- HR Generalist who helps corporate VPs measurably improve their staff’s engagement & productivity. Results featured in Workforce.com.
In each of these example headlines, you immediately know what the person does, who they help, how they help them, and why they are credible.
And each one differentiates you from the rest of the ho-hum crowd!
However, these are merely quick examples and you can certainly craft one for yourself better than these.
The 120 characters that LinkedIn gives you for your headline is valuable part of your HR career brand.
So don’t waste this asset.
If you’re in the job market..or anticipate that you will be soon…go make this change in your headline…NOW!
Don’t get overlooked.
About the Author: Alan Collins was Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo where he led HR initiatives for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses. He is Founder of Success in HR, Inc. and the author of the two HR best sellers, UNWRITTEN HR RULES and BEST KEPT HR SECRETS. His NEW book, YOUR HR GOLDMINE is now is available on Amazon.
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